A salvage grocery store specializes in selling off products sent back to the grocery warehouse by a store or excess inventory sold to a liquidator by a manufacturer. Sometimes the stores are called scratch and dent stores, dented can stores or discount grocery stores.
Sometimes undamaged grocery items become salvage because their use by date was getting close, or because the item just didn’t sell well in that area. Hot Peppers may sell well in New Mexico and Texas, but not so well in New England. Sometimes the reason the item becomes salvage is seasonal. Lots of Halloween stuff shows up in November, and Christmas stuff shows up in January. Sometimes it’s a misspelled label or a product overrun. In any case, all the groceries are checked for quality by the liquidation center and by our staff at Discount Groceries and More.
Where do salvage groceries come from?
Accidents happen, even in the grocery business. If a case of green beans gets dropped, or hit by a forklift and a couple of cans get bent, those cans (and sometimes the whole case) don’t make it to the grocery store shelves. Instead, they’re sent to a reclamation center, where broken jars are discarded, cans with leaks are destroyed, etc. The rest of the products (the good stuff) are then shipped to a distributor, who then ships the salvage grocery products to a salvage grocery store.
What kind of stuff will you find at a salvage grocery store?
To really sum it up, a salvage (discount) grocery is a place where you will always find unexpected treasures. This week there may be an awesome deal on something that’s not there next week. You may be the one who picks up the last bag of the gourmet coffee for a song or not. You’ll find name brand cereals with a crunched corner or a packing knife cut on a box but still a bargain for $1.49. The big box stores can’t sell you the box with a crunched corner for $5.00 so they ship it off to an liquidator who puts together pallet loads of these groceries to sell to retailers across the country.
Usually you’ll be talking to the owner of the store or their friendly helper. No big city rush here like in the Wal-Mart or at the big box stores. Need help, just ask.
Salvage grocery stores are regulated and inspected by the USDA. This means each owner is cognizant on what can be sold and what can’t be sold. We are taught how recognize foods that are or are not safe.
What about foods that are past the Best if used by date?
The Best if used by date is the date recommended for best taste or flavor. This is how long the manufacturer wants their goods on display but usually foods will be good for, in some cases, many months beyond these dates. If most of us would check our shelves and pantries, we’d find that we’ve been eating many foods which technically have expired without knowing it.
They only foods required to have expiration dates are baby foods and infant formulas.